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Belton Police working to help locate wanderers suffering from dementia

BELTON, Mo. -- Belton Police Lt. Travis George said locating people with forms of dementia who wander away from home can be a difficult task.

"We may have contact with that individual but because of their inability to provide us a point of contact or a family member or a way to get them back home, that communication barrier makes it difficult for us to be able to relocate that person or reunite them with their loved ones," Lt. George said.

So the department has teamed with MedicAlert Foundation, a California based company, to help issue informational bracelets to help the search process.

"It’s just a resource to help our police officers be able to help track down individuals who become astray or become lost because often times they have no reference point to start from," Lt. George said.

The bracelets are free and police said the information on them would provide an invaluable resource for families and first responders.

"It only helps our officers in the investigation in the community but it might save us a lot of time and resources trying to locate somebody when all they had to do, if they have the MedicAlert bracelet on, is make the phone call," Lt. George said.

But most of all, it would help give families peace of mind.

"If something has happened a lot of people assume the worst. Assume somebody has preyed upon them so we can shorten that time length from the time they’ve gone missing to the time we can return them home." Lt. George said, "If it helps one family then it’s a benefit. We don’t have a lot of wanders that we come in contact with but they do happen."

Residents who have loved ones that are at-risk for wandering are encouraged to enroll in the free program. Interested residents may contact Lt. George at the Belton Police Department at (816) 348-4405, visit the Belton Police Department Facebook page, or contact Lt. George via email attgeorge@beltonpd.org.

Find out more at MedicAlert.org.